Purchase Pending Over Property For Drug Treatment Clinic

Plans are moving ahead for the location in Dunkirk at 51 E. Third St. be used for a drug treatment clinic. The closure of the sale is pending.

DUNKIRK — Despite contention over its close location to a school and a church, plans are moving ahead for a drug treatment clinic in the city to aid those battling drug addiction.

On Monday, the nonprofit community service provider Acacia Network announced it will be entering the city of Dunkirk as a contract of sale is in place on property located at 51 E. Third St. However, the closure of the sale is pending.

Clients are expected to be admitted beginning mid-September, according to Acacia Network. The clinic would be run by United Hispanics of Buffalo, a health care, housing and social services provider of Western New York for more than 27 years. Acacia Network is the parent company of HUB.

For several years, the building at the corner of Park Avenue and Third Street housed personalized recovery oriented services. Chautauqua Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council provides prevention services at the location, which are funded by the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.

The property was up for sale for more than six months, and it struck the interest of Acacia officials in order to continue growth into communities that need behavior health care and substance abuse services. Acacia Network and HUB have run a clinic in a residential area in Buffalo for several years.

Recently, a meeting was held between leadership of HUB and parents of Northern Chautauqua Catholic School who had a number of questions and concerns about the clinic and its close proximity. Acacia Network officials said they understands and knows the concerns that were shared at the meeting and is poised to address all in the spirit of partnership and collaboration.

“With each and every entry into any community or affiliation, we listen to what the community needs and address these needs in the best way possible, while still fulfilling our mission to partner with our community, lead change, and promote healthy and prosperous individuals and families,” said Raul Russi, CEO of the Acacia Network, parent company of Hispanos Unidos de Buffalo (HUB). “With the continued rise in overdose related deaths in New York state, Acacia’s vision is to expand our proven model into each and every corner of the state where there is a need.”

In 2016, Acacia Network officials note 21 recorded deaths from drug overdoses in Chautauqua County — and it could be more due to the way they’re being recorded. Acacia Network officials said the organization’s entrance into Dunkirk was mandated based on the organization’s long-term strategy and vision of where they should be present.

Russi said Acacia is committed to being a good neighbor in every facility and location where it operates, and Dunkirk will be another example of this according to Russi.

“It doesn’t make sense for us to be anything other than good neighbors,” he said. “We will work with our neighbors to respond to their concerns while still serving people in need. Acacia Network has an excellent track record of making sure that our clients are not a nuisance in the community. We work hard to also address stereotypes of what a person in recovery looks like. The truth of the matter is, a person in recovery looks like any other person down the street, at your job, in your grocery store, or at your church. The stigma associated with being a person in recovery is one that we continue to address with all of our programs and services at Acacia.”